Effects of chronic sublethal exposure to waterborne Cu, Cd or Zn in rainbow trout. 1: Iono-regulatory disturbance and metabolic costs

James C. McGeer, Cheryl Szebedinszky, D. Gordon McDonald, Chris M. Wood.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

260 Scopus citations

Abstract

The relationships among growth, feeding behaviour, ion regulation, swimming performance and oxygen consumption in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were compared during chronic exposure (up to 100 days) to sublethal levels of waterborne Cd (3 μg·l-1), Cu (75 μg·l-1) or Zn (250 μg·l-1) in moderately hard water (hardness of 140 mg·l-1, pH 8). A pattern of disturbance, recovery and stabilization was evident for all three metal exposures, although the degree of disturbance, specific response and time course of events varied. Growth was unaffected by any of the metals under a regime of satiation feeding but appetite was increased and decreased in Cu- and Cd-exposed trout respectively. Critical swimming speed was significantly lowered in fish chronically exposed to Cu, an effect associated with elevated O2 consumption rate at higher swimming speeds. Branchial Na+/K+ ATPase activity was elevated in Cu-exposed fish but not in Cd- exposed trout. Disruption of carcass Na+ and Ca2+ balance was evident within 2 days of exposure to either Cd, Cu or Zn, with subsequent recovery to control levels. The loss of Ca2+ in trout exposed to waterborne Cd persisted longest, and recovery took approximately a month. The physiological response of trout to chronic Cu exposure involves mechanisms that result in an associated metabolic cost. In comparison, Cd is neither a loading nor a limiting stress and acclimation to chronic Cd-exposure does not appear to involve a long term metabolic cost. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-243
Number of pages13
JournalAquatic Toxicology
Volume50
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2000

Keywords

  • Cadmium
  • Copper
  • Ion regulation
  • Metabolic rate
  • Rainbow trout
  • Swimming performance
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

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